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Heike Kroeger

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Research Scientist

Postdoctoral Training:

UC San Diego, Department of Pathology, La Jolla, CA, USA;

Advisor: Prof. Jonathan H. Lin (now at Stanford University)

Project 1 “ER stress and Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) Signaling During Stem Cell Differentiation”

Project 2 “The Unfolded ProteinResponse is Shaped by the Nonsense-Mediated Decay (NMD) Pathway”

Project 3 “Differentiation towards eye-specific cell types such as Rod and Cone Photoreceptor cells using 3D Retinal Organoids and Patient-derived iPSC's"

Project 4 "Robust Endoplasmic Reticulum-associated Degradation of Rhodopsin Precedes Retinal Degeneration"


Graduate Degree:

Ph.D. in Structural Medicine and Cell Biology, Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, Department of Medicine, Cambridge University, UK


Undergraduate Degree:

Diploma in Biochemistry, Free University Berlin, Germany

Diploma Dissertation, Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, Department of Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry; University of Cambridge, UK

Title: “Investigation of the interaction between wildtype and mutant Neuroserpin, with the Abeta-peptide as an Alzheimer peptide in vivo


Lab office:
256 Coverdell Center

2021-2022                Career Starter Grant from Knight Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.

2022-2023               Renewal, Career Starter Grant from Knight Templar Eye

                                 Foundation, Inc.




Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

1.    Kroeger, H., Grandjean, J.M.D., Chiang, W.Ch., Bindels, D., Mastey, R., Okalova, J., Nguyen, A., Powers, E.T., Kelly, J.W., Grimsey, N.J., Michaelides, M., Carroll, J., Wiseman, R.L., and Lin, J.H., (2021) “ATF6 is Essential for Human Cone Development”, PNAS – joint corresponding author

2.    Cao, K.J., Kim, J.H., Kroeger, H., Gaffney, P.M., Lin, J.H., Sigurdson, C.J., and Yang, J., (2021) “ARCAM-1 Facilitates Fluorescence Detection of Amyloid-Containing Deposits in the Retina”, Transl Vis Sci & Technol, 0(0):3248 (accepted)

3.    Lee, E.J., Chiang, W.Ch., Kroeger, H., Bi, C.X., Chao, D.L., Skowronska-Krawczyk, D., Mastey, R.R., Tsang, S.H., Chea, L., Kim, K., Lampert, S.R., Grandjean, J.M.D., Moore, A.T., Wiseman, R.L., Carroll, J., and Lin, J.H., (2020) “Multiexon deletion alleles of ATF6 linked to achromatopsia”, JCI insight, 5(7), e136041

4.   Kroeger, H., Grimsey, N., Paxman, R., Chiang, W.Ch., Plate, L., Ying, J., Shaw, P.X., Tsang, S.H., Powers, E., Kelly, J.W., Wiseman, R.L., and Lin, J.H. (2018) “The Unfolded Protein Response regulator, ATF6, Promotes Mesodermal Differentiation”, Science Signalling, Vol. 11, Issue 517, DOI:10.1126/scisignal.aan5785

 5.    Rachid, K., Chih-Hong, L., Kroeger, H.*, Huang, L., Lin, J.H., and Wilkinson, M. (2015) “The unfolded protein response is shaped by the NMD pathway”, EMBO Reports, DOI: 10.15252/embr.201439696. Published online 25.03.2015. Pubmed PMID: 25807986

 6.   Alavi, M.V., Chaing, W.C., Kroeger, H., Yasumura, D., Matthes, M.T., Iwawaki, T., LaVail, M.M., Gould, D.B., and Lin, J.H. (2015) “In Vivo Visualization of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in the Retina Using the ERAI Reporter Mouse”, IOVS, 56(11): 6961-6970

 7.   Chiang, W.C., Kroeger, H., Sakami S., Messah, C., Yasumura, D., Matthes, M.T., Coppinger , J.A., Palczewski,K., LaVail, M.M. and Lin, J.H. (2014) “Robust Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation of Rhodopsin Precedes Retinal Degeneration”; Mol. Neurobiol, DOI 10.1007/s12035-014-8881-8

 8.   Kroeger, H., Messah, C., Ahern, K., Gee, J., Joseph, V., Matthes, M.M., Yasumura, D., Gorbatyuk, M.S., Chiang, W.-Ch., LaVail, M.M. and Lin, J.H.; (2012) “Induction of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Genes, BiP and Chop, in Genetic and Environmental Models of Retinal Degeneration”; IOVS, 53(11): 7159-7166

 9.   Chiang, W.-Ch., Hiramatsu, N., Messah, C., Kroeger, H. and Lin, J.H.; (2012) “Selective activation of ATF6 and PERK endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling pathways prevent mutant rhodopsin accumulation”; IOVS, 53(11): 7159-7166

 10.  Kroeger, H., Miranda, E. M., MacLeod, I., Pérez, J., Crowther, D.C., Marciniak S.J and Lomas, D.A.; (2009) “ERAD and autophagy cooperate to degrade polymerogenic mutant serpins”; JBC, 284(34); 22793-802

11.  Kalies. K.-U., Allan, S., Sergeyenkow. T., Kroeger, H., & Roemisch, K. (2005) “The protein translocation channel binds to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane” EMBO J 24, 2284-2293


Book Chapters

1.    Chiang W.C., Kroeger H., Chea L., and Lin J.H. (2018) “Pathomechanisms of ATF6-Associated Cone Photoreceptor Diseases”, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (In Press)

2.   Kroeger, H., Chiang, W.C., Felden, J., Nguyen, A., and Lin, J.H. (2018) “ER Stress and Unfolded Protein Response in Ocular Health and Disease”, FEBS, DOI: 10.1111/febs.14522 – corresponding author

3.    Wert, K.J., Kroeger H., Tsang, S.H., and Lin, J.H. (2017) “Pathology and Mechanism of Eye Diseases”, book chapter at Opthalmic Disease and Drug Discovery; DOI: 10.1142/9789814663076_0002

4.   Kroeger, H., LaVail, M.M. And Lin, J. (2014) “Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Vertebrate Mutant Rhodopsin Models of Retinal Degeneration”; Adv Exp Med Biol, Springer, Volume 801, 585-592

5.   Kroeger, H., Chiang, W.-Ch. And Lin, J. (2012) “Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation (ERAD) of Misfolded Glycoproteins and Mutant P23H Rhodopsin in Photoreceptor Cells”; (2012) Retinal Degenerative Diseases; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, Springer Science + Business Media, Volume 723, Part 8, 559-565

6.   Ekeowa U.I., Gooptu B., Belorgey D., Hägglöf P., Karlsson-Li S., Miranda E., Pérez J., MacLeod I., Kroger H., Marciniak S.J., Crowther D.C. and Lomas D.A.; (2009) “alpha1-Antitrypsin deficiency, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the serpinopathies”; Clin Sci (Lond).; 116(12):837-50


Press Releases

UCSD Press Release regarding Science Signaling Publication No.1



04/ 2017            Listed Inventor on Patent, UCSD Ref. No. SD2017-221 “Use of ATF6 Activators to enhance mesodermal differentiation” (U.S. Provisional Application Serial No._62/492,016)


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